Unité de Psychologie Clinique des Relations Interpersonnelles

Famille et couple

Dans le domaine famille et couple...   /   In the field of Family and Couple...

Projet "Women facing breast cancer: Expressed Emotions in the couple relationship as predictor of emotional distress in the postsurgery period"

This study aims at (i) assessing the relevance of the Expressed Emotion construct in the context of breast cancer and (ii) assessing the links between Expressed Emotion and general distress in women when facing the illness and its treatment. A longitudinal design has been adopted in order to assess a possible lagged effect of Expressed Emotion over time. Expressed Emotion are traditionally measured exclusively in relatives of patients; we have however chosen to assess them in the patients as well, as negative attitude of the women may affect the partner and in turn lower the social support the partner may provide. Several variables related to the illness, to the couple relationships and to social support are also assessed and used as control variables: sociodemographic characteristics, disease-related variables, romantic attachment, marital satisfaction, marital engagement, communication about cancer, dyadic coping, size of the social network.

Projet "From the struggle against the disease to the return to normal life: Stress and adjustment in breast cancer survivors and their partners"

Studies have shown the importance of coping with the stress of the disease in women facing breast cancer and in their partners. Maladaptive coping may result in comorbid troubles such as depression or anxiety. Most studies have focused on the intensive phase of breast cancer treatment (surgery and the following months). However, several clues now indicate that stress may have enduring negative consequences even several years later, after women are considered to be cancer survivors (5 years after diagnosis according to the American Cancer Society). Although some authors state that breast cancer survivors fare well and do not need additional support, others emphasize the "forgotten needs of survivors". We aim in this study to document the quality of life and emotional functioning in cancer survivors and their possible partners in order to better identify protective or risk factors that may explain individual variability in the long-term adjustment to the illness. Our main hypothesis is that social relationships - and specifically the couple relationship - play a major role as a moderating factor in this process. To this aim, we propose a follow up at 5 years of a previous study in which women and their possible partners were followed during the first two years after surgery. The present study adopts a mixed-methods design, with data collected by interview and questionnaires. This will allow (i) to study longitudinally individual trajectories through 5 years after surgery; (ii) to qualitatively analyze the interview in order to understand how women and their partners adapt to survivorship and what their needs are; (iii) to compare their answers to the questionnaires with normative data. The benefit for the participants will be a better knowledge of the needs and possible difficulties of cancer survivors, which would help to design specific and tailor-made interventions for this population.

Projet "Family alliance and triangular process: from pregnancy to adolescence"

Research in collaboration with the Centre d'Étude de la Famille in Lausanne: assessment of adolescent socio-affective development according to family variables measured from pregancy to school age.

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